Friday, March 23, 2007

My first day of spring

Hopefully the boss won't see this, but today's wasn't a full work day.

I know I wrote this last year: It's always weird that first day seeing guys you haven't seen in months and reconnecting. There were plenty of those guys -- too many to try to name -- and I can think of many more who I didn't see today. I find it best to not pull out the notebook and pen at those times.

Also, found out some bad news. Pitcher Chris Flinn was released by the Devil Rays on Thursday. Flinn was an Original Biscuit who played with the team in each of the last three years. Flinn, a third-round draft pick in 2001, reached Class AAA for the first time at the end of last season.

I hit the big-league game between the Rays and Reds on Friday night. Delmon Young was as jovial and friendly as he was last year. He saw me before I saw him and came up to chat. He obviously has immense talent and can be a superstar.

Elijah Dukes was impressive. He was still his aggressive self on the field -- he legged out a triple -- and will almost certainly make the team. He wasn't as aggressive off the field. In the clubhouse, he played cards with teammates and I never heard him become overly boisterous. He's another guy with massive baseball skills.

Shawn Riggans was in the middle of an incident in the eighth of the Rays' 15-1 win. After Jonny Gomes hit a three-run homer, Riggans followed with a game of dodgeball. The first pitch was at his legs and the second near his head. Pitcher Wes Wilkerson was ejected and the benches cleared, though no blows were exchanged.

When the Rays took the field for the ninth, Riggans, as good of a person you could hope to meet anywhere, went to the mound to talk to Juan Salas and possibly tell him retaliation was not necessary. Salas didn't initiate another bench-clearing powwow.

Now for the boss: I did interview four players for a story in that special section that everybody can see April 5.

1 comment:

Stacy Long said...

Well, Delmon turned down my interview request about 1 1/2 hours before Saturday's final exhibition game. He wasn't surly about it and even greeted me by name before I asked if he had a few minutes. He said he had to get ready for the game and I can't fault him for that.